Presents for Patients keeps creating smiles for nursing home residents
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:56 p.m.
Gov. Tom Corbett wrapped up the 2012 Presents for Patients campaign by giving a book about Hawaii to Lois Siess, 84, of The Arbors at St. Barnabas in Valencia.
Years ago, Siess and her late husband, Dick, visited Hawaii on a trip they received as a surprise gift from her brother.
Married 60 years, the couple raised three children and worshipped at Parkwood United Presbyterian Church in Hampton.
“This is what the holiday season is all about — being able to bring some joy and a smile to friends, family and loved ones,” said Corbett. “The Presents for Patients program ensures that nursing home residents get a gift in person on the holidays, which can mean so much at this time of year.”
Corbett, wearing a light blue lei, gave Siess his gift — “Hawaii: A Pictorial Celebration” by Ellie Crowe, with photography by Elan Penn — during a Hawaiian-style Christmas party Dec. 27 in The Crystal Conservatories on the Valencia campus of the St. Barnabas Health System.
Guests dined on tropical refreshments while listening to music by Tuika.
Corbett presented the final Presents for Patients gift of 2012.
The 2012 Presents for Patients campaign served a record-setting 30,829 patients at 357 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in six states, according to Shelli Sommariva, spokeswoman for the St. Barnabas Health System, based in Richland Township.
William Day, president of the St. Barnabas Health System, founded Presents for Patients in 1984 to ensure that people remember local nursing-home residents at Christmas.
Presents for Patients now coordinates gift givers and recipients in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.
The goal is to spark a smile on the face of somebody in a nursing home or similar facility with a personally delivered gift.
Sometimes the gift is a group-sponsored party with refreshments and entertainment.
At Wexford Elementary School in Pine, Rachel Zimmerman's 21 kindergarteners planned a party for an “adopted” patient at Paramount Senior Living at Cranberry.
They also used colored markers to write their names on a gift sweatshirt.
Since 1984, more than 460,000 residents of nursing homes, personal-care homes and assisted-living facilities have received visits and gifts through Presents for Patients.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.